The Food and Drug Administration has recently reaffirmed something your mother has been telling you for years: Don’t eat raw cookie dough – not even fresh from the bowl. In fact, all raw dough should really remain out of our mouths. And though hardcore political types might want to lambast the federal government for trying to come between Americans and their childhood pleasures, at this point, the FDA is simply making a plea for common sense.
The renewed warning stems not from the typical culprit of the anti-cookie dough crowd – raw eggs which can potentially contain salmonella – but instead ties to the recent flour recall. About a month ago, the Center for Disease Control asked for about 10 million pounds of flour to be tossed after an investigation outed the common ingredient as the source of an E. coli outbreak.
“Eating raw dough or batter—whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas—could make you, and your kids, sick, says Jenny Scott, a senior advisor in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,” the FDA wrote on their website. “Flour, regardless of the brand, can contain bacteria that cause disease.” The agency also reminded people that though flour can be contaminated “regardless of the brand,” three specific brands had been recalled, so definitely make sure you’ve heeded the warning on specified bags of Gold Medal, Signature Kitchen’s, and Gold Medal Wondra flour, all of which are made by General Mills.
Part of the confusion over cookie dough may stem from the prevalence of cookie dough products like ice cream on the market which, yes, are safe to eat. As the FDA points out, “If that’s your favorite flavor, buy commercially made products. Manufacturers should use ingredients that include treated flour and pasteurized eggs.”
For the rest of us, cooking and handling raw products properly and keeping your cooking space clean is the best way to make sure you never become sick from sucking on a whisk. If you must relive your childhood glory days, suck on some Fun Dip instead.